Recycling is a key way construction sites should try to minimise their impact on the environment. Sites should try to recycle as much material as possible and work with external partners if necessary.
See the examples below for how one site addressed this:
- Hard hats are mainly made of polypropene and should be replaced for health and safety reasons every three to five years. Plastic cannot be incinerated as this is toxic. As such, they represent a significant and polluting waste stream if not recycled.
- There was no hard hat recycling scheme in the UK, so the contractor approached a specialist plastic recycling company called Yes Recycling to develop a dedicated scheme.
- The site established segregated hard hat recycling facilities on site, collecting 150 hats in the first three months.
- The factory have received the first shipment of hard hats to be recycled.
- Specialist machinery has been built to process and recycle the hard hats. The hats are broken up into their components and shredded into granules which can be used to make new products such as pallets.
- When only the plastic is used this creates high-quality granules which can be used to produce products of a high recycled content.
- This initiative is both beneficial for the environment and represents health and safety best practice.
- The workforce have also benefited from training on how to date hard hats and learning the safety regulations around their equipment.
Monitor report. Berkeley Homes (North East London) Ltd. London. September 2017.